Archive for the ‘Recipe’ Category

Hummus To The Rescue!

Friday, September 29th, 2017

My hubby has toddler tendencies when it comes to eating healthy food. If it’s something he’s not sure of or is not one of his favorites (he avoids the healthy stuff…) then he wants it covered in gravy or cheese sauce. While this technique will have your brain and tummy hollering YES YES YES..your waistline and arteries will be screaming NO NO NO! Do you have anyone like this in your family? It would sometimes cause friction when I tried to implement healthy options. I’m sure you can picture the toddler meltdown complete with kicking, crying and screaming…but enough about me…


Then it was hummus to the rescue!


Creating a sauce or gravy with hummus could not be any easier. You can use the prepared stuff from the grocery store or make your own. I’m lazy and the premade stuff is made with ingredients I can pronounce so I just use that and spend the extra few minutes quilting instead of hummus-ing. All you need to do is choose a hummus flavor that you like, add a little liquid to it and heat it up. That’s it, all done!

Pictured above is a dish that I recently made. Grilled chicken served on a bed of rice with a red pepper hummus. the sauce mixes with the rice too. Yum. I heated up a 16oz. container of red pepper hummus with about 1/2 cup of water. It comes out a thick gravy consistency. A side salad and a sprinkle of Parmesan and you’re good to go.

Another recent concoction is sort of a mock Alfredo. I used a 16oz. container of garlic hummus with about 3/4-1 cup of water. I wanted it a little thinner so it would coat the pasta well. I cooked up some regular and spinach linguine, sauteed some veggies from the garden and tossed everything together. Not only did I use the abundance of our vegetable garden (there is summer squash, zucchini, carrots, beets, green beans, tomatoes and mushrooms in there) but the sauce also works to sidestep issues for our lactose free family members. Regular Alfredo tastes wonderful but is not good for lactose free folks! Aside from salting the pasta water, I didn’t add any extra spices or herbs.


Just a couple of handy notes when using hummus as a sauce or gravy…It will thicken as it cools so you want to make it slightly looser so it’s perfect by the time it reaches the table. Any leftover hummus sauce can still be used as a spread for crackers or sandwiches too.


So, let the experimentation begin! Leave a comment and tell me what flavor/food profile you discovered with hummus!

Russian Piping Tips

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Not quilting but I thought I would share a little kitchen tool review. A few months ago I got a set of Russian Piping Tips and hadn’t gotten around to trying them out. Moosette and I made a date tonight and gave them a whirl. What’s a Russian Piping Tip you ask? They’re similar to regular piping tips just much larger. Here are a few of them next to a regular tip.

I watched several videos where the folks make it look really easy and you can decorate a cupcake in just a few seconds (well, these tips are huge…duh!) The set came with a buttercream icing recipe (which we followed) and several hints for success (which we also followed). Here’s the guide for which tips make which flowers. Don’t their cupcakes look pretty?

So, how did we do? Well…some were ok…we did have a little trouble controlling the temperature of the icing. They suggested putting the icing in the freezer for a few minutes to stiffen it up. We found that the outer icing in the bag would then get too hard and the inner portion was still too soft. One video showed making a flat spread of icing and placing a second color down the middle. Then you roll it all up and put it in the tip. Easy enough and the results were promising…well, except for the soft icing issue. Moosette thought this one looked like a hot dog on a flat bun.

We did have some semi-successes…



And several failures…


And we made a huge mess…

We did learn that the failures taste just as good as the pretty ones. It was great to spend an evening trying something new with my favorite daughter. We both decided that we need a little more practice and we’ll definitely be trying them out again…but first I have to run a marathon to work off all this buttercream frosting…

Homemade Thank Yous

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Toffee Blondies In A Jar

During the holidays a lot of folks like to say thank you to those people who make their life easier. The mail carrier, trash collector, FedEx & UPS driver, the bag boy/girl at the market…any one of the “little” people who give you a helping hand (sorry, showing my past life royalty!) Personally I like to do this more than once per year with homemade food items and I don’t call them thank you gifts. I need to call them what they really are – bribes, greasing the skids, payola, hush money, perks. I really DO appreciate all these folks do for me and I truly want to thank them for their service but letting them know that with homemade goodies has a HUGE benefit for me. When I have a package delivered in the mail, my mail carrier Dave will go up my driveway and leave it (along with my other mail) on my covered porch. I see my neighbors packages at their mailboxes dripping in the rain, baked in the hot sun or covered with 6″ snow. I’m guessing they don’t give Dave any treats during the year. Same goes for all the other people I come in contact with on a regular basis. A small thank you treat can really make someone’s day and make them remember you with a smile on their face.


YumOola one of my favorite food sites put together some great items today that could easily be on my food give-away list. Hmmm…now to decide which to try out…

Homemade GoldfishChocolate Dipped Spoons

Homemade Pocky

Chocolate Eclair Pie

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Oh my poor neglected blog… I got behind in regular posts last fall then decided my next post needed to be spectacular to make up for it. Well, now it has been far too long and no post, spectacular or otherwise, can make up for such an absence. It’s time to just jump back into it and move on.

Every quilt show “season” I have a recipe available for anyone who wants one. I try to make them easy so we can eat well and have more time for quilting. Once the new recipe comes out the older one goes on the blog for everyone. If you visit any of my scheduled events in 2014 you will have the chance to grab a recipe for homemade Tater Tots. In the mean time, here is last years recipe…

Chocolate Eclair Pie

This is one of the easiest recipes there is. The only trick is to think about it ahead of time because it has to sit before serving. It’s an excellent choice for pot-lucks and dinner parties.

21 whole graham crackers (give or take, every pan is slightly different)

two 3.5oz pkg. instant French Vanilla pudding

3 cups milk

8oz tub Extra Creamy Cool Whip, frozen

1 tub Dark Chocolate ready-to-spread frosting

3 teaspoons milk

1. Place one layer of graham crackers (about 7 crackers) in the bottom of a 9X13 pan. Some crackers may need to be broken to get good coverage.

2. Mix vanilla pudding with 3 cups of milk.

3. Mix in frozen Cool Whip and whip until well blended.

4. Spread half of the pudding mixture onto graham crackers.

5. Add another layer of graham crackers.

6. Spread remaining half of pudding mixture onto graham crackers.

7. Add a final layer graham crackers.

8. Mix frosting with 3 teaspoons of milk to make it easier to spread. Spread frosting over top layer of graham crackers. Don’t mix the frosting ahead of time. While you’re mixing the frosting and milk, the pudding has a minute to start setting up. Then you won’t have problems with the layers mixing together while spreading the frosting.

9. Refrigerate 12-24 hours. Dessert can be frozen although I have never tried it because there has never been any leftovers.

Time to mix it up! Once you’ve mastered the basic pie – it’s time to experiment. Try using different flavors of graham crackers (cinnamon, chocolate…), pudding or even the frosting. How about some add-ins to the pudding section? I’m thinking a German Chocolate Cake variety with chocolate crackers, chocolate pudding with coconut mixed in and chocolate frosting…leave out the coconut and you have Death By Chocolate…maybe a Black Forest Cake variety with cherries…the possibilites are endless…


Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Several years ago when it was discovered that Moosette was lactose intolerant we started learning what she could and could not eat. When she found pumpkin pie on the absolute no-no list, she was heartbroken. We tried several different dairy free recipes and, quite frankly, they were disgusting. It was getting to the point that she was willing to endure painful stomach cramps a couple times a year just to have a slice of her favorite pie. Then we found the perfect recipe. I have served this pie to guests without telling them it was any different than regular pumpkin pie and they didn’t notice a thing. The texture is velvet creaminess and the taste is just like regular pie. It does dirty a few more dishes than making traditional pie but it’s not at all hard.

If you or anyone on your guest list has dairy issues please give it a try. Best part? It’s just as tasty to anyone who doesn’t have dairy issues so no need to make two kinds!

I know pictures would be awesome but that will have to wait until next week when I actually make one…

one 15oz can pumpkin

3/4 cup soft silken tofu

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup vanilla soy milk

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (the original recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon, that tasted like lemon pie with pumpkin, YUCK!)

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

2 egg yolks

1 egg white (stiffly beaten)

1 deep dish pie crust

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

1: In a blender combine tofu and honey until smooth. Add small amounts of soy milk until mixture has the consistency of sweetened condensed milk.

2: Combine pumpkin, tofu mixture, sugar, salt, butter & spices in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter has melted completely.

3: Add egg yolks to mixture and blend well.

4: Add lemon extract and blend well.

5: Gently fold in stiffened egg whites and let mixture cool a few minutes.

6: Pour into pie crust and bake at 500 degrees for 8 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes.

7: Let pie cool for 1 hour before serving.


Calling All Bread Lovers…

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Well, I did something a few weeks ago that I haven’t done in about one year. I bought a loaf of bread. Now before all my fellow carb lovers get too excited….it was about a year ago that I got my bread machine. I plugged that baby in and haven’t looked back. I make all our bread, hamburger rolls, pizza dough – everything. When I bought my machine I decided, on a whim, to throw a bread cookbook into my cart. That was the best decision I ever made.

If you own a bread machine, you need this book. All the recipes are already geared to bread machines. There is even a chapter in the beginning to help you figure out how your particular machine will best work with the recipes. The title is The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (say that 3 times fast) by Beth Hensperger. It’s over 1.5″ thick and has over 600 pages. If it’s not in here, I doubt it can be made in a bread machine! I have no affiliation with the book, just a happy baker.

Moosette loves sandwiches with the plain white bread made into little individual loves (pg. 26). My favorite is Pagnotta with added rosemary (pg. 246) or maybe Maple Oatmeal Bread (pg. 436) or … well, you get the idea.

So, why was I buying a loaf of bread recently? I had a bad case of that nasty head cold that has been making the rounds. The thought of standing for 5 minutes to start a loaf of bread was too much to bear. It was easier to send hubby to buy one (and MUCH easier than having him make bread…) We all agreed it didn’t taste nearly as good as we remembered. The family did their very best to make sure I was better before the purchased bread ran out. They didn’t want to buy any more…

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER!

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Every quilt show season I hand out a recipe for anyone who wants one. This is last years recipe. This year we will be giving out the easiest Apple Strudel you’ve ever made. Come find our booth at any of our shows to get a copy or you can always wait until the show season is over and we’ll post it here. In the meantime, enjoy last year’s recipe!

Any recipe that starts off with a pound of butter has a lot going for it! A plate of these beauties works wonderfully as a thank you or a bribe. I always make sure that those folks in my life who keep it running smoothly get a plateful a couple of times a year. Think of the postal staff, bank employees, garbage folks, the chatty neighbor (if they’re chewing they can’t chat!)

This recipe makes a lof of cookies. I make them really big and I can usually get 4-5 dozen. Enjoy!

1 pound of butter (4 sticks)
2 Taplespoons real vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
6 cups flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups chocolate chips (two 12oz bags) – I use a blend of dark chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate, semi-sweet and sometimes throw in a few white chocolate or butterscotch.
2 cups chopped nuts – optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Cream together softened butter and sugars. Beat in vanilla and eggs and mix for 3-4 minutes.

2. Add chocolate chips and nuts to the egg/sugar mixture.

3. In a seperate bowl – mix flour, baking soda and salt.

4. Add flour mixture to egg/sugar/chip mixture. Mix, but NOT TOO MUCH. You’ll make the cookies tough.

5. Drop cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet. These are not “spreading” cookies so try not to pile the dough too high.

6. Cook 8-10 minutes for medium cookies or 10-12 minutes for really big ones.